Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) ruled England during the so-called "Golden Age", from 1558 to 1603. She was beloved and deified in her own time and after her death, and was known as Gloriana, Astraea (the goddess of justice), the Virgin Queen, and Good Queen Bess, among others. The daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth was educated by the foremost humanists of the age, including Roger Ascham, and spoke a number of languages and was well-read in classical literature. She was a scholar and poet, and served as inspiration for the scholars and poets of the Elizabethan Age. This collection presents some of her verses, as well as poetry written for and about her, by her contemporaries and succeeding generations of poets. As Anne Bradstreet observes, she refuted the common belief at the time that women made ineffective rulers. On the contrary, she presided over an age of relative stability at the twilight of the Tudor dynasty.
Excerpts from Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performed by the US Army Strings
A public domain recording issued by Musopen.org.
00:22 1. Queen Elizabeth, "The Doubt of Future Foes"
02:00 2. Queen Elizabeth, "All Humankind on Earth"